Make a Beaded Bezel In Just 5 Minutes!
As it goes lately, I’m all about quick and easy when it comes to my bead-weaving. I especially love beading projects that are made using quick and easy components — I set each one aside as I complete it, and then when I have that rare chunk of free time on a Sunday morning or a Saturday afternoon, I can sit down and play with designing and connecting them at my leisure! Sometimes, the best thing about making a pile of components is that they work great as little gifts like pendants and earrings all by themselves.
This easy way to make a beaded bezel revealed itself to me while I was working on a larger necklace a couple of years ago, and it has some pretty amazing potential when used as a component for a larger piece of beaded jewelry! I’ve watched this basic technique morph into at least a dozen different beaded jewelry designs, including bracelets, earrings, and a lovely hair accessory. Give it a try!
- 1 gram size 11 seed beads (A)
- 1 gram size 15 seed beads (B)
- 1 gram size 8 seed beads (C)
- Crystal rivoli or cabochon (optional)
- Embellishment beads — the sky is the limit! Try some tulip petals, Rizos, daggers, or whatever else you happen to have handy.
- 6 lb braided beading thread
- Size 12 beading needle
- Scissors or thread cutters
- Chain nose or combination pliers (optional, but useful for pulling needles through tight spaces)
Sizing your bezel. This particular technique for creating an easy peyote stitch bezel requires an even number of picots to be stitched in the initial ring of beads, so it’s important to have the correct number of beads in your base ring. Since we’re using size 11 seed beads for our base ring, an easy formula to use is to take the measurement of your crystal rivoli, stone, or cabochon and double it. So for a 16mm crystal rivoli (like the one I use in this example), you would pick up 32 beads for your initial base ring. (32 divided by 2 = 16)
If you need to adjust the number of beads in your base ring, always increase by 2 until you get an even number. A smaller base ring may not securely hold your stone. If you’re not using a stone, you can simply adjust the number up or down until you have an even number for your picots.
Step 1: On a comfortable length of thread (no more than 5 feet), pick up your desired number of base beads (A). I picked up 32 to fit a 16mm crystal rivoli.
Work 1 round of even count peyote stitch, keeping the beads flat instead of letting them form a tube. Make the step up at the end of the round.
Step 2: Add your picots. Pick up 2B, 1A, and 2B and pass through the next bead in the round. Use your fingers and give your thread a little tug if you need to make those center A beads “pop”. After you’ve added your last picot, pass through the first 3 beads in the first picot you added, exiting from an A.
Step 3: Insert your stone or rivoli in the center of your bezel. Pick up 1B, 1C, and 1B. Skip the next picot in the ring, and pass through the center A of the following picot. Repeat all the way around until your stone is securely held in the center of the ring. Reinforce your thread path a few times, then knot and weave your thread in a bit more.
Step 4: The finished bezel! You can either repeat Step 3 with the remaining picots on the back, or leave them as they are and use them for embellishing. If you decide to stitch them together as you did in Step 3, they will create a thicker bezel. If you’re using a flat backed stone, this is also a great way to create a double-sided bezel for reversible or convertible jewelry.
Now that you’ve done the easy part, this is where you can let yourself play with embellishing and connecting these fun little components. Attach them to a base of right-angle weave or netting, hang a jump ring or bail from the top and use them as simple pendants, or add loops on the back and use them as bracelet components with your favorite leather and clasps.
Looking for some more great quick and easy beadwork? Well, we have a whole special issue magazine dedicated to just that! Check out Quick + Easy Beadwork, with over 40 brand-new beautiful beading projects. Try your hand at using some of the newest and most popular shaped beads. Whip up a pair of fabulous earrings in an evening or make a pretty beaded bracelet as a gift for your best friend.
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